Sony Alpha NEX-5

8.5 Rating

A distinctively-styled, ultra-compact, interchangeable-lens camera that can record Full HD video clips with stereo soundtracks.Although Sony claims its new NEX-5 as the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable-lens camera, this can only apply to the camera body itself, which is similar in size and shape to Sony’s H-series digicams. Attach the low-profile E 16mm f/2.8 (SEL16F28) ‘pancake’ lens and the camera remains just pocketable; fit the E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (SEL1855) zoom lens and you’d be hard pressed to get the camera into a jacket pocket.

Sony Alpha NEX-3

8.5 Rating

A sister model to Sony’s NEX-5 interchangeable-lens camera with the ability to record 720p HD video clips with stereo soundtracks.The main difference between Sony’s NEX-3 and the more expensive NEX-5 model we reviewed in June lies in the video recording system. Whereas the NEX-5 uses the AVCHD format and can record Dolby Digital soundtracks, the NEX-3 uses the less efficient MP4 compression system for video and MPEG-4 AAC-LC for audio. The NEX-5 is also Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) compliant while top video resolution for the NEX-3 is 1280 x 720 pixels.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

8.5 Rating

A mirrorless camera with SLR-like styling, touch-screen controls and sophisticated video recording capabilities.Although it was announced at Photokina 2010, we only received a review unit for the Panasonic GH2 at the end of January, which is a pity as this camera has plenty to offer to Photo Review readers. Replacing the DMC-GH1, it offers higher resolution and an extended ISO range as well as adopting popular features from the DMC-G2including the touch-screen monitor and re-designed control layout.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

9 Rating

A compact, rangefinder-styled Micro Four Thirds System camera that accepts interchangeable lenses.In the GF1, Panasonic has challenged Olympus with a similar, rangefinder-like model that tackles some of the deficiencies of the E-P1 and exploits the not insignificant potential of the Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) sensor format. In addition, by providing HD video recording – using the AVCHD Lite format offered in the company’s digicams, the GF1 also confronts the main criticism levelled at the G1: the lack of video capture.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10

9 Rating

Most of the features of the DMC-G2 in a lighter, more affordable camera body.Attach the LCD monitor to the back panel, remove the touch screen overlay, reduce the viewfinder resolution to 202,000 dots and disable the stereo sound recording capability and you’ve converted the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 into the DMC-G10. You’ve also saved $300 in the process. In this review, we’ll focus on the differences between the two cameras, as shown in the table below.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

8.5 Rating

An update to the popular G1 Lumix camera with a new touch-screen interface plus easier video recording.On its release this month, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-G2 will be the world’s first system camera with touch-control shooting and playback. Offered in black, blue and red, the new model retains many of the features of its predecessor, including the 12.1-megapixel (effective) Live MOS sensor and 1,440,000-dot Live View Finder. However, it’s quite a bit cheaper and, unlike the G1, it can be used for video capture, where it offers a top resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1

9 Rating

A pocketable PEN camera that comes in six fashionable colours and supports some creative shooting modes plus Full HD video recording.The PEN Mini E-PM1 is the smallest, lightest and simplest of the three interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras announced by Olympus in June 2011. Designed for snapshooters looking for a very compact camera that’s easy to use but delivers above-average image quality, it offers most of the sophisticated functions provided by its up-market siblings.

Olympus PEN E-PL2

8.5 Rating

The latest entry-level PEN camera comes with a new kit lens, adjustable Art Filters and support for additional accessories.Announced in early January, the E-PL2 is a fourth-generation model in Olympus’s PEN family of compact interchangeable lens cameras. Featuring the same 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Sensor as the E-PL1, the new model has a redesigned user interface and larger, higher-resolution LCD monitor. A built-in flash has been added, along with a new M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MSC kit lens that is 25% lighter than its predecessor.

Olympus PEN E-P3

8.8 Rating

A new flagship model in the PEN series of interchangeable-lens cameras provides improved functionality and support for Full HD video.The E-P3 is the flagship model of three PEN-series cameras announced by Olympus at the end of June. The 12.3-megapixel sensor from previous PEN models continues in all three cameras, which differ in body size, appearance and functionality. The E-P3 introduces a number of enhancements, among them the addition of a built-in flash and refinements to the autofocusing system, thanks largely to a new, more powerful image processor.

Olympus Pen E-P1

8.5 Rating

Olympus’s first Micro Four Thirds camera targets the gap between digicams and DSLRs for serious photographers and also supports HD video recording.The Olympus Pen E-P1 is the third Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera to reach the market and is quite different from the Panasonic G-series models that preceded it. Capitalising on the heritage of the popular ‘Pen’ series cameras, which were launched 50 years ago, it comes with a Four Thirds format, 12.3-megapixel (effective) Live MOS image sensor that supports both still and HD video capture.